July 14, 2020
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Senate Bill 2078

Senate Bill sb2078c1

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078

    By the Committee on Comprehensive Planning, Local and Military
    Affairs; and Senator Constantine




    316-2090-02

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to uniform building codes;

  3         requiring the Florida Building Commission to

  4         develop building code provisions to facilitate

  5         the rehabilitation and use of existing

  6         structures; requiring the commission to

  7         identify legislative changes required to

  8         implement such code provisions; requiring a

  9         report to the Legislature; amending s. 604.50,

10         F.S.; redefining the term "nonresidential farm

11         building" for purposes of applicability of

12         building codes; creating s. 553.791, F.S.;

13         providing an alternative method of building

14         plan code review and building inspections;

15         providing for building owners to use private

16         providers for building code inspection

17         services; prescribing standards for such

18         private providers; prescribing powers and

19         duties of private providers and local building

20         officials; providing an appeals process;

21         prohibiting certain local rules and standards;

22         providing for exemptions from alternative

23         review and inspections; providing immunity from

24         liability for certain personnel in connection

25         with building code inspection services;

26         providing an effective date.

27

28  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

29

30         Section 1.  (1)  The Legislature directs the Florida

31  Building Commission to develop building code provisions that

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  may be added to the Florida Building Code to facilitate the

  2  rehabilitation and use of existing structures. The commission

  3  shall select from available national or international model

  4  codes or the codes or code provisions adopted by another state

  5  to form the foundation for the code provisions required by

  6  this section.

  7         (2)  The commission shall seek consensus with fire

  8  safety professionals, advocates for persons with disabilities,

  9  representatives of the construction industry, land-use

10  planners, building officials, and others identified by the

11  commission as having an interest in building code provisions.

12  The commission may modify the selected model codes and

13  standards as needed to accommodate the specific needs of this

14  state.

15         (3)  In conjunction with its code development

16  activities, the commission shall identify legislative changes

17  required to implement the code provisions developed pursuant

18  to subsections (1) and (2).

19         (4)  The commission shall report the activities

20  undertaken in response to the requirements of this act to the

21  Legislature on or before January 1, 2003, as a part of the

22  annual report required by section 553.77(1)(b), Florida

23  Statutes. Recommended code provisions and the legislative

24  changes required for implementation shall be attached as

25  appendices to the annual report.

26         Section 2.  Section 604.50, Florida Statutes, is

27  amended to read:

28         604.50  Nonresidential farm buildings.--Notwithstanding

29  any other law to the contrary, any nonresidential farm

30  building located on a farm is exempt from the Florida Building

31  Code and any county or municipal building code. For purposes

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  of this section "nonresidential farm building" means any

  2  building or support structure used by a farm operation which

  3  located on a farm that is not used as a residential dwelling

  4  and is located on land classified as agricultural land under

  5  s. 193.461. Farm is as defined in s. 823.14.

  6         Section 3.  Section 553.791, Florida Statutes, is

  7  created to read:

  8         553.791  Alternative plans review and inspection.--

  9         (1)  As used in this section, the term:

10         (a)  "Applicable codes" means the Florida Building Code

11  and any local technical amendments to the Florida Building

12  Code but does not include the applicable minimum fire

13  prevention and fire safety codes adopted pursuant to chapter

14  633.

15         (b)  "Request for certificate of occupancy or

16  certificate of completion" means a properly completed and

17  executed application for a certificate of occupancy or

18  certificate of completion, the certificate of compliance from

19  the private provider required pursuant to subsection (10), any

20  applicable fees, and those documents required by the local

21  building official to determine that the fee owner has secured

22  all other government approvals required by law.

23         (c)  "Building" means any construction, erection,

24  alteration, demolition, addition to, or substantial

25  improvement of any structure for which permitting by a local

26  law enforcement agency is required.

27         (d)  "Building code inspection services" means those

28  services described in s. 468.603(6) and (7) involving the

29  review of building plans to determine compliance with

30  applicable codes and those inspections required by law of each

31  phase of construction for which permitting by a local

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  enforcement agency is required to determine compliance with

  2  applicable codes.

  3         (e)  "Duly authorized representative" means an agent of

  4  the private provider identified in the permit application who

  5  reviews plans or performs inspections as provided by this

  6  section and who is licensed as an engineer under chapter 471

  7  or as an architect under chapter 481, or who holds a standard

  8  certificate under part XII of chapter 468.

  9         (f)  "Local building official" means the individual

10  within the governing jurisdiction responsible for direct

11  regulatory administration or supervision of plan review,

12  enforcement and inspection of any construction, erection,

13  alteration, demolition, addition to, or substantial

14  improvement of any structure for which permitting is required

15  to indicate compliance with applicable codes and includes any

16  duly authorized designee of such person.

17         (g)  "Permit application" means a properly completed

18  and submitted application for the requested building or

19  construction permit, the plans reviewed by the private

20  provider, the affidavit from the private provider required

21  pursuant to subsection (5), any applicable fees, and those

22  documents required by the local building official to determine

23  that the fee owner has secured all other government approvals

24  required by law.

25         (h)  "Private provider" means a person licensed as an

26  engineer under chapter 471 or as an architect under chapter

27  481, or a person who holds a standard certificate under part

28  XII of chapter 468.

29         (2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the

30  fee owner of a building may use a private provider to provide

31  building code inspection services with regard to such building

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  and may make payment directly to the private provider for the

  2  provision of these services. All such services shall be the

  3  subject of a written contract between the private provider, or

  4  the provider's firm, and the fee owner. Notwithstanding any

  5  other provision of law, the fee owner may elect to use a

  6  private provider to provide both plans review and required

  7  building inspections or to use the local enforcement agency

  8  for one or both of these purposes.

  9         (3)  A private provider and any duly authorized

10  representative may perform only building code inspection

11  services that are within the disciplines covered by that

12  person's licensure or certification under chapter 481, chapter

13  471, or chapter 468. A private provider may not provide

14  building code inspection services pursuant to this section

15  upon any building designed or constructed by the private

16  provider or the provider's firm.

17         (4)  A fee owner using a private provider to provide

18  building code inspection services shall notify the local

19  building official at the time of permit application on a form

20  to be adopted by the commission. This notice shall include the

21  following information:

22         (a)  The services to be performed by a private

23  provider, whether plans review, required building inspections,

24  or both;

25         (b)  The name, firm, address, telephone number, and

26  facsimile number of each private provider who is performing or

27  will perform such services, their professional license or

28  certification number, qualification statements or resumes,

29  and, if required by the local building official, a certificate

30  of insurance demonstrating that professional liability

31  insurance coverage is in place for the provider's firm, the

                                  5

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  provider, and any duly authorized representative, in the

  2  amounts required by this section; and

  3         (c)  An acknowledgment from the fee owner in

  4  substantially the following form:

  5

  6         I have elected to use one or more private

  7         provider to provide building code plan review

  8         and/or inspection services on the building that

  9         is the subject of the enclosed permit

10         application, as authorized by section 553.791,

11         Florida Statutes. I understand that the local

12         building official may not review the plans

13         submitted or perform the required building

14         inspections to determine compliance with the

15         applicable codes, except to the extent

16         specified in such law. Instead, plans review or

17         required building inspections will be performed

18         by licensed or certified personnel identified

19         in the application. The law requires minimum

20         insurance requirements for such personnel, but

21         I understand that I may require more insurance

22         to protect my interests. By executing this

23         form, I acknowledge that I have made inquiry

24         regarding the competence of the licensed or

25         certified personnel and the level of their

26         insurance and am satisfied that my interests

27         are adequately protected. I agree to indemnify,

28         defend, and hold harmless the local government,

29         the local building official, and their building

30         code enforcement personnel from any and all

31         claims arising from my use of these licensed or

                                  6

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1         certified personnel to perform building code

  2         inspection services with respect to the

  3         building that is the subject of the enclosed

  4         permit application.

  5

  6  The fee owner must, within 1 business day, update the notice

  7  if the fee owner makes any changes to the listed private

  8  provider or the services to be provided by those providers.

  9         (5)  A private provider performing plans review under

10  this section shall review construction plans to determine

11  compliance with the applicable codes. Upon determining that

12  the plans reviewed comply with the applicable codes, the

13  private provider shall prepare an affidavit or affidavits on a

14  form adopted by the commission, certifying, under oath, that

15  the following is true and correct to the best of the private

16  provider's knowledge and belief:

17         (a)  The plans were reviewed by the affiant, who is

18  duly authorized to perform plans review pursuant to this

19  section and holds the appropriate license or certificate; and

20         (b)  The plans comply with the applicable codes.

21         (6)(a)  Upon receipt of a permit application, the local

22  building official has 30 business days after receipt either to

23  issue the requested permit or to provide a written notice to

24  the permit applicant identifying the specific plan features

25  that do not comply with the applicable codes, as well as the

26  specific code chapters and sections. If the local building

27  official does not provide a written notice of the plan

28  deficiencies within the prescribed 30-day period, the permit

29  application shall be deemed approved as a matter of law and

30  the permit shall be issued by the local building official on

31  the next business day.

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1         (b)  If the local business official provides a written

  2  notice of plan deficiencies to the permit applicant within the

  3  prescribed 30-day period, this 30-day period shall be tolled

  4  pending resolution of the matter. To resolve the plan

  5  deficiencies, the permit applicant may elect either to dispute

  6  the deficiencies pursuant to subsection (12) or to submit

  7  revisions to correct the deficiencies.

  8         (c)  If the permit applicant submits revisions, the

  9  local building official has the remainder of the tolled 30-day

10  period, plus 5 business days, either to issue the requested

11  permit or to provide a second written notice to the permit

12  applicant stating which of the previously identified plan

13  features remain in noncompliance with the applicable codes,

14  with specific reference to the relevant code chapters and

15  sections. If the local building official does not provide the

16  second written notice within the prescribed time period, the

17  permit shall be issued by the local building official on the

18  next business day.

19         (d)  If the local building official provides a second

20  written notice of plan deficiencies to the permit applicant

21  within the prescribed time period, the permit applicant may

22  elect either to dispute the deficiencies pursuant to

23  subsection (12) or to submit additional revisions to correct

24  the deficiencies. For all revisions submitted after the first

25  revision, the local building official has an additional 5

26  business days either to issue the requested permit or to

27  provide a written notice to the permit applicant stating which

28  of the previously identified plan features remain in

29  noncompliance with the applicable codes, with specific

30  reference to the relevant code chapters and sections.

31

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1         (7)  A private provider performing required inspections

  2  under this section shall inspect each phase of construction as

  3  required by the applicable codes. The private provider shall

  4  be permitted to send a duly authorized representative to the

  5  building site to perform the required inspections, provided

  6  that all required reports and certifications are prepared by

  7  and bear the signature of the private provider. The

  8  contractor's contractual or statutory obligations are not

  9  relieved by any action of the private provider.

10         (8)  A private provider performing required inspections

11  under this section shall provide notice to the local building

12  official of the date and approximate time of any such

13  inspection no later than the prior business day by 2 p.m.

14  local time, or by any later time permitted by the local

15  building official in that jurisdiction. The local building

16  official may visit the building site as often as necessary to

17  verify that the private provider is performing all required

18  inspections.

19         (9)  Upon completing the required inspections at each

20  applicable phase of construction, the private provider shall

21  record such inspections on a form acceptable to the local

22  building official. These inspection records shall reflect

23  those inspections required by the applicable codes of each

24  phase of construction for which permitting by a local

25  enforcement agency is required. The private provider, before

26  leaving the project site, shall post each completed inspection

27  record, indicating pass or fail, at the site and provide the

28  record to the local building official within 2 business days.

29  Records of all required inspections completed to date shall be

30  maintained at the building site at all times and made

31  available for review by the local building official. The

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  private provider shall report to the local enforcement agency

  2  any condition that poses an immediate threat to public safety

  3  and welfare.

  4         (10)  Upon completion of all required inspections, the

  5  private provider shall prepare a certificate of compliance on

  6  a form acceptable to the local building official, summarizing

  7  the inspections performed and including a written

  8  representation, under oath, that the stated inspections have

  9  been performed and that, to the best of the private provider's

10  knowledge and belief, the building construction inspected

11  complies with the approved plans and applicable codes. The

12  statement required of the private provider shall be

13  substantially in the following form:

14

15         "To the best of my knowledge and belief, the

16         building components and site improvements,

17         outlined herein and inspected under my

18         authority, have been completed in conformance

19         with the approved plans and the applicable

20         codes."

21

22         (11)  Upon receipt of a request for certificate of

23  occupancy or certificate of completion and upon presentation

24  of certificate of compliance and approval of all other

25  governmental approvals required by law, the local building

26  official has 2 business days after receipt either to issue the

27  certificate of occupancy or completion or to provide a notice

28  to the applicant identifying the specific deficiencies, as

29  well as the specific code chapters and sections. If the local

30  building official does not provide notice of the deficiencies

31  within the prescribed 2-day period, the request for

                                  10

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  certificate of occupancy or completion shall be deemed granted

  2  and the certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion

  3  shall be issued by the local building official on the next

  4  business day. To resolve any identified deficiencies, the

  5  applicant may elect either to dispute the deficiencies

  6  pursuant to subsection (12) or to submit a corrected request

  7  for certificate of occupancy or completion.

  8         (12)  If the local building official determines that

  9  the building construction or plans do not comply with the

10  applicable codes, the building official may deny the permit or

11  request for a certificate of occupancy or completion, as

12  appropriate, or may issue a stop-work order for the project,

13  or any portion thereof, if it determines that such

14  noncompliance poses a threat to public safety and welfare,

15  subject to the following:

16         (a)  The local building official shall be available to

17  meet with the private provider within 2 business days after

18  issuing a stop-work order or providing notice to the applicant

19  denying a permit or request for certificate of occupancy or

20  completion to resolve any dispute.

21         (b)  If the local building official and private

22  provider are unable to resolve the dispute, the matter must be

23  referred to the local enforcement agency's board of appeals,

24  if one exists, which must consider the matter at its next

25  scheduled meeting or sooner. Any decision by the local

26  enforcement agency's board of appeals, or local building

27  official if there is no board of appeals, may be appealed to

28  the commission pursuant to s. 553.77(1)(h).

29         (c)  Notwithstanding any provision of this section to

30  the contrary, any decision regarding the issuance of a

31  building permit, certificate of occupancy, or certificate of

                                  11

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  completion may be reviewed by the local enforcement agency's

  2  board of appeals, if one exists. Any decision by the local

  3  enforcement agency's board of appeals, or local building

  4  official if there is no board of appeals, may be appealed

  5  pursuant to s. 553.77(1)(h) to the commission, which must

  6  consider the matter at its next scheduled meeting.

  7         (13)  For the purposes of this section, any notice to

  8  be provided by the local building official shall be deemed to

  9  be provided to the person or entity when successfully

10  transmitted to the facsimile number listed for that person or

11  entity in the permit application, or a revised permit

12  application or, if no facsimile number is stated, when

13  actually received by that person or entity.

14         (14)  No local enforcement agency, local building

15  official, or local government may adopt or enforce any law,

16  rule, procedure, or standard that is more stringent than those

17  prescribed by this section.

18         (15)  A private provider may perform building code

19  inspection services under this section only if the private

20  provider maintains insurance for professional and

21  comprehensive general liability with minimum policy limits of

22  $1 million per occurrence relating to all services performed

23  as a private provider, and including tail coverage for a

24  minimum of 5 years subsequent to the performance of building

25  code inspection services.

26         (16)  When performing building code inspection

27  services, an inspector is subject to the disciplinary

28  guidelines of the applicable professional board with

29  jurisdiction over his or her license or certification under

30  chapter 468, chapter 471, or chapter 481. Any complaint

31  processing, investigation, and discipline that arise out of a

                                  12

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  private provider's performance of building code inspection

  2  services shall be conducted by the applicable professional

  3  board.

  4         (17)  The fee owner of a building located within the

  5  jurisdiction of a local enforcement agency that the commission

  6  certifies as exempt from this section may not elect to use a

  7  private provider to provide building code inspection services

  8  with regard to such building. The commission may certify a

  9  local enforcement agency as exempt from this section if the

10  local enforcement agency demonstrates that it routinely

11  performs building code inspection services within the time

12  frames established in this section and that a majority of the

13  following local entities consent to the exemption:

14         (a)  The local chapter of the Associated General

15  Contractors;

16         (b)  The local chapter of the Florida Chapter of the

17  American Institute of Architects; and

18         (c)  The local chapter of the Florida Home Builders

19  Association.

20

21  A certification of exemption shall be valid for a period of 1

22  year and must be renewed annually.

23         (18)  Each local building code enforcement agency shall

24  develop and maintain a process to audit the performance of

25  building code inspection services by private providers

26  operating within the local jurisdiction.

27         (19)  The local government, the local building

28  official, and their building code enforcement personnel are

29  immune from liability to any person or party for any action or

30  inaction by a fee owner of a building, or by a private

31  provider or its duly authorized representative, in connection

                                  13

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    Florida Senate - 2002                           CS for SB 2078
    316-2090-02




  1  with building code inspection services as authorized in this

  2  section.

  3         Section 4.  This act shall take effect October 1, 2002.

  4

  5          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
  6                             SB 2078

  7

  8  The CS differs from the bill as filed in that it:

  9        requires the Florida Building Commission to develop
          building code provisions to facilitate rehabilitation &
10        use of existing structures;

11        narrows the definition of nonresidential farm buildings,
          which are exempt from the requirements of the Florida
12        Building code;

13        clarifies the licensure/certification requirement for a
          "duly authorized representative" that may perform
14        building code inspection services as an agent of a
          private provider;
15
          clarifies that a private provider or its duly authorized
16        representative may only perform building code inspection
          services within the disciplines covered by their
17        licensure or certification, and adds building code
          enforcement personnel to the owner's agreement to
18        indemnify and hold harmless;

19        clarifies that notice of a change in private provider
          from the owner to the local building official must be
20        given within one business day instead of 24 hours;

21        removes a reference to a professional seal, which does
          not exist for building code administrators and
22        inspectors licensed under Part VII of ch. 468, F.S.;

23        revises the notice of scheduled inspections from the
          private provider to the local building official from one
24        full business day to 2:00 p.m. on the prior business
          day, or at any later time permitted by the local
25        building official;

26        clarifies the nature of the audit process to be
          instituted by local building departments regarding
27        building code inspections services performed by private
          providers; and
28
          provides immunity for local governments regarding the
29        owner's use of a private provider to perform building
          code inspection services.
30

31

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